It more like blackmail but the whole situation is ridiculous. Gee, employees criticizing management. There's a new one. I can't IMAGINE the local newspaper would have the remotest interest in that and this has absolutely nothing to do with the State.
I hope your friend is ignoring these ludicrous threats.
BTW, recording conversations in Florida without the consent of all parties is a felony. Your friend can always mention that to the ex-employee and that the police might be interested in knowing that she is (a) attempting to blackmail the company and (b) using illegally recorded conversations to do so. That ought to scare the bejesus out of her and get her to go away forever.