It's the ongoing public corruption investigation that's led to charges against numerous city officials, including former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. It now appears his father could soon be at federal court, as well.
"The case looks like it's at a point where decisions have to be made both by the prosecutors and by Mr. Kilpatrick," said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor.
This time that Mr. Kilpatrick is Bernard Kilpatrick, the father of the disgraced former mayor.
Kwame Kilpatrick is already facing charges related to raiding the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, but now his father has asked for a federal defender - a sure sign he's in trouble, too.
"A target letter is often viewed as an invitation to someone to make contact with the government and explore the possibility of resolving the case," Henning said.
He said it's not clear what the charges would be against the elder Kilpatrick, who is long suspected of orchestrating pay-to-play deals involving city contracts. However, whatever money he might have made appears to be gone. Bernard Kilpatrick had to sign an affidavit of indigency to qualify for a court appointed attorney.