Dee Benson says he is indeed interested in becoming the U.S. attorney for Utah.

" I've always been interested in criminal enforcement," Benson said late Tuesday.Benson wouldn't comment about the job until he verified that Sens. Orrin Hatch and Jake Garn, both R-Utah, and U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh had decided to recommend him to President Bush.

Once that was confirmed, Benson said, "I'm flattered and honored that they would express support for me."

Benson is top aide to Deputy Attorney General Hal Christensen, the Salt Laker who is the No. 2 man in the Justice Department.

Benson was Hatch's chief of staff from 1986 to 1987, and was Hatch's special counsel to the Judiciary Committee before that.