She later served three years as the inspector general of the secretary of state’s office, briefly working for Kemp when he was in the job, before she was named to a newly created seat on the Fulton County bench by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.
She started an innovative alternative sentencing program shortly after she joined the court in 2010 called “My Journey Matters.” While other accountability courts focused on drug addicts or the mentally ill, LaGrua’s initiative was unique because it handled mostly violent offenders.
During monthly hearings, LaGrua balanced her role as a judge, enthusiastic cheerleader and demanding advocate who made clear to participants that they shouldn’t commit another serious crime while in the program — lest they suffer the consequences.
“When you mess up this opportunity, I’m not playing,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of the initiative. “You do another crime, I’m sending you to prison and I’m not feeling bad about it.”
LaGrua is the second appointment Kemp has made to the state Supreme Court. In March, he picked Court of Appeals Judge Carla Wong McMillian for the bench, which his office said made her the first Asian American woman to earn a spot on a Southeast state’s highest court.