DETROIT (WWJ) – Federal bankruptcy judge Stephen Rhodes has delayed his decision regarding a $210 million deal to pay for repairing tens of thousands of broken Detroit street lights.

That’s because the law firm, Miller Canfield, represents both the city and the public lighting authority.

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Judge Rhodes  has asked given attorneys to file briefs explaining why that’s not a conflict of interest when the same law-firm represents both sides in negotiations.

“The judge says, if there’s a conflict, the city would have to fire Miller Canfield and start all over again in negotiating what could amount to literally millions of dollars to repair and replace broken city lights,” said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie.

Langton says the delay may give a glimpse of Judge Rhodes looming bankruptcy decision.

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“He allowed the city ’til next week, the end of next week, to get those briefs in,” said Langton, “which kinda hints … that maybe in fact he judge says, yeah, the city is going to be allowed to go bankrupt and we’ll just proceed on a normal course.”

Judge Rhodes says he’ll make a decision regarding the lighting issue sometime after next week.

Meantime, his decision regarding Detroit’s bankruptcy eligibility is still scheduled for next Tuesday.

MORE: Big Decision On Detroit Bankruptcy Coming Dec. 3

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