Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s re-election this week to the top post he’s held for 20 years came with little questioning over the reported investigation into payments he’s received from a law firm.

Indeed, only one conference member actually voted against Silver: newly elected Assemblyman Charles Barron.

And Barron’s criticism of Silver didn’t stem from the investigation, but the more pertinent concern that there wasn’t any representation of black and Latino in vacant legislative seats during the budget process.

“One point five million people, seven to eight hundred thousand of black and latino people were not involved in the state budget process,” the Brooklyn lawmaker said.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle in an interview played down the impact the investigation has on Silver’s ability to lead the chamber.

“I think our perspective is that having an article in the New York Times quoting an unnamed source about a supposed investigation with no facts, no information would not in any way deter people from voting for someone who they think has lead the chamber with distinction for 20 years and has been one of the great progressive voices in this state’s history,” Morelle said on Capital Tonight.

As Tom Precious at The Buffalo News pointed out, Silver’s track record of being re-elected was no surprise given his adroit ability to respond to minute concerns raised by individual members as well as have an uncanny ability to recall favors he’s owed. At the same time, his rule has been all but unquestioned following the unsuccessful coup of Assemblyman Michael Bragman, an episode that made the speaker more responsive, but all saw the insurgents punished.

As for Barron being a thorn in the side of the Assembly’s Democratic leadership, Morelle was said he expects to work well with the new lawmaker.

“I’m sure we’ll get along fine,” he said. “I note that he has a reputation for being outspoken, but there are a lot of outspoken people in the Assembly.”

He added, “I’ve only met him a couple of times. He seems very nice.”